Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Wednesday Tehran would stick to its 2015 nuclear accord with world powers as long as the other signatories respected it, but would “shred” the deal if Washington pulled out, state TV reported.
Khamenei spoke five days after U.S. President Donald Trump adopted a harsh new approach to Iran by refusing to certify its compliance with the deal, reached under Trump’s predecessor Barack Obama, and saying he might ultimately terminate it.
“I don’t want to waste my time on answering the rants and whoppers of the brute (U.S.) president,” Khamenei said in a speech to students in Tehran quoted by state television.
“Trump’s stupidity should not distract us from America’s deceitfulness … If the U.S. tears up the deal, we will shred it … Everyone should know that once again America will receive a slap in its mouth and will be defeated by Iranians.”
Trump’s move put Washington at odds with other parties to the accord – Britain, France, Germany, Russia, China and the European Union – who say Washington cannot unilaterally cancel an international accord enshrined by a U.N. resolution.
Khamenei, who has the final say on Iran’s state matters, welcomed European support but said it was not sufficient.
“European states stressed their backing for the deal and condemned Trump … We welcomed this, but it is not enough to ask Trump not to rip up the agreement. Europe needs to stand against practical measures (taken) by America.”
Under the deal, Iran agreed to curb its disputed uranium enrichment program in return for relief from international sanctions that crippled its economy, and U.N. nuclear inspectors have repeatedly certified Tehran’s compliance with the terms.
Trump accuses Iran of supporting terrorism and says the 2015 deal does not do enough to block its path to acquiring nuclear weapons. Iran says it does not seek nuclear arms and in turn blames the growth of militant groups such as Islamic State on the policies of the United States and its regional allies. Continue reading.